Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.
But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.
Mary Elizabeth Summer I love you and I hate you.
The title was the first of Mary Elizabeth’s hooks to catch me, the second the cover – the author name didn’t outshine the title itself and no bright flashy colours blinded my eyes. The third hook came with the first paragraph, a nod to a childhood favourite, Pinocchio. Now with three hooks you would think she would be sure to reel me in, and she did. Julep is easily likable from the outset with her honest straight forward approach to her story telling and her independence as a person. She strives to hold onto that independence throughout the novel, and when she falters letting her guard down, we the reader, are left liking her even more.
Sam is a great best friend/sidekick and played a satisfyingly large role in Julep’s story. I would have however, enjoyed the occasional chapter from his perspective, especially during the days he and Julep don’t speak, rather than Julep telling us later what he had gotten up to.
Mike oozed suspicion from the outset, I do not know if it was intentional – he was simply serving her coffee at their first meeting, but it worked to keep me guessing each time he entered the story and I can honestly say I never saw what it was he was hiding until Julep did.
Two love interests emerge, the dependable and trusted friend and the smooth popular guy that every girl wants. I fell for the latter, as too did Julep, and you broke my heart Mary Elizabeth. I wept, I screamed, and I may or may not have thrown the book to the ground and not picked it up till the next day.
The next morning, devastated, I read on past my hearts destruction as you cleverly tied up the various subplots and I then finished satisfied with the story but still cursing your name.
I don’t hold a grudge for long, ok… I do, but in your case I will happily set aside my pain and ready myself for what you next throw at Julep in book two of the Trust me series – Trust me, I’m trouble.
A solid 4.5 story by a gifted author I hope to see much more from. I urge you to buy, borrow, even beg for a copy but be sure to have a box of tissues nearby, just in case.
Rebecca’s love of storytelling began with her curled up on her mother’s lap, and only grew with her throughout her life. She started a family and settled into her home in a small town on the coast of NSW, continuing to feed her creativity in any way possible, creating custom cakes, original artworks and most certainly writing. Right now Rebecca is editing her MS while shopping her completed childrens stories. “Believeing our characters need us to tell their story is why we do what we do.” Find her on twitter here.